Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Missionaries in their natural settings:

Temwaiku District.  As you can see, we have a lot of missionaries from the islands.  From left to right:  Elder Ulutui (Vanuatu), Elder Hoslet (Blanding, Utah), Elder Raika (Fiji), Elder Saksak (Vanuatu), and from Kiribati, Elder Tekabwere ,
Elder Toanna, and Elder Tarati.

More Kiribati elders at right:  Elders Matiare, Toanna and Karekataake.  (And yes, we can pronounce their names properly.)
Elder Mendenhall (Arizona) and Elder Mickelsen (Rupert, Idaho).
Intake of 7 sisters and one elder (right side Elder Ioteba, next to Elder Butterfield)
Sisters Ucunibaravi (Fiji), Tenoa (Kiribati) Lavulavu (Hawaii) Alafoki, Anitoni & Mafi (Tonga) Terurua (Kiribati) and Talataina (Samoa)

Victor and fiance off to Fiji to get married in the temple.  Both are returned missionaries from the Buota branch.
Kaurei Baabo & his wife with President and Sister Shaw.  The Baabo's daiughter is serving her mission here and speaks English with a flawless American accent.  Her parents raised her part of the time in Hawaii while attending school.
Intake of Elder Grover ( Idaho) Ward (Arizona) Lelenoa (Samoa) Trussel (Texas) Raika (Fiji) Fa'aliu (Tonga) Tekabwere (Kiribati, Memea (Samoa) and Banemone (Kiribati)

Picking up missionaries and their bags took 2 vans and a truck.
Sister Baabo (US/Kiribati) and Sister Apineru (Samoa)
Top row: Sister Teitei, Sister Kanee, Sister Banimone, Sister Mafi; bottom: Sis. Tauteoli (Utah), Apineru, Balenecagi (Fiji) and Baabo.   Sister Shaw wanted to have an all-sisters preparation day activity, and they had a lot of fun.  Sister Bush is the photographer.

Sister Kanee served 6 months in her native Kiribati while waiting for her visa to the Perth, Australia Mission.  Others: Tauteoli, Apineru & Teaeki (Christmas Island, Kiriba
Elders Fa'aliu, Tuilahingingie (California) Josh Whippy, Saksak, Lelenoa, Monson (Firth, Idaho) Tiontin, Jared Whippy, Atata (Vanuatu) and Raika
Elder Grover loves to do handsprings.

Once each year, the mission brings in the branch presidents and clerks from the outer islands for 3 days of training.  Back row: Marakei BP, clerk, Utiroa clerk, Aranuka BP, clerk, Pres. Shaw, Sister & Elder Bush.  Front row: clerk and BP for Kabuna Branch, clerk, Beru BP, Moretekai (Utiroa BP).

It's a challenge for these brethren to keep the church rolling with little contact with church leaders.  All of them have to come in by plane, from 30 minutes to 2 hours on planes that carry 17 passengers and fly only once a week to their islands, in some cases.  We get out to see them once or twice a year. Other that this training and those visits, the missionaries are the only other resource in a personal way.  Our service center people also help with facilities on those islands that have church buildings, but over half of them just meet in maneabas like the ones below.
Beru chapel, inside and out

 Branch presidency in
Abemama.  The day they were set apart, there were 23 attending.  They started visiting less actives and had 37 the next week, 42 the week after, including 4 people studying with the missionaries
 A "bush chapel" in Abaiang is built after the membership grows a certain amount.  They have a main area for meetings and 2 rooms at one end -- one for a branch president's office and the other for a second office or missionary quarters.
bush chapel on North Tarawa.

Chapel built by members and missionaries.  From left, Elder Tarati, Elder Mickelsen, Elder Bush, President Enery.

chapel in Majuro